As a new archer, you’ll likely hear something about setting your nock point. Finding and setting your nock point location is a very important part of the tuning process. Every archer’s goal is to shoot with consistency. Since your nocking point plays a large role in consistency, you should understand what a nock point is, why you need to properly set it, where you should attach it to your bow, how to correctly tie it in, how to ensure it’s in its correct position, and how to adjust it when necessary.
Even though many compound and recurve bows sold today automatically come with a nocking point, it’s still a good idea for you to learn how to find and set your own. Once you understand this, you can adjust your nock point to provide more stability, consistency, and accuracy in your shooting.
There are two types of nocks: an arrow nock and a string nock. Arrow nocks attach to the back of an arrow and allow you to attach it to the string. String nocks provide a reference point where your arrow attaches to the string.
What Is A Nock Point?
A nocking point is a term used to describe the location on a bow string where your arrow snaps into place and held until you release the string. It works by keeping the arrow in its proper position during the process of drawing and releasing. A nock point supports an archer’s ability to shoot consistently because it allows them to anchor their arrows from the same position, with the same amount of energy transfer, every single time they shoot.
While every archer needs to have at least one nocking point, you can choose to add two nocking points to your bow string (above and below the arrow nock). Many archers choose two nocking points because this helps ensure their arrows stay in the correct position throughout the entire shot process.
Do You Need A Nock Point?
You may be asking yourself if you really need a nocking point and the answer is yes and no. Yes because nock points keep your arrow in its proper place and provide consistency to help you shoot more accurately, which is exactly what you want. As a new archer, finding your nock point and learning how to properly set it will help you become more knowledgeable and accurate.
While there are many benefits to a consistent nock point, they aren’t absolutely necessary to try archery. Even though nock points provide a great reference for where an arrow must sit, not every archer feels the need to add a nock point to their bow. This will be a major disadvantage compared to those who use a nock point, so if you’re looking for accuracy, don’t underestimate the use of this small reference point.
Where Should Your Nock Point Be?
So how do you determine the best location for your string nock point? There are a few different ways you can determine a perfect nock point placement that works for you. You can guesstimate by placing your arrow at a 90° angle to properly mark your nock points. Clipping a bow square aka T-square to your bow string until it reaches the arrow rest is a great way to find your correct nock point as well. Generally speaking, you want the arrow to be level or angled slightly downward for the most stability.
Take note that while you may be setting your nock point, it may have to be adjusted slightly. So, don’t worry about it being absolutely perfect at first because it may have to change depending on what’s needed for straight arrow flight.
How To Tie A Nocking Point
Nock points are referenced using one or two materials, brass nocks and string serving to keep your arrow in place. While you may think it’s easier to purchase a bow with a pre-set nock point, know that many archers need to adjust and set their own nock points. This is because your bow may need adjustments that affect your nocking point, making it necessary to move it. The process of tying knots or setting a brass nock is not only a simple procedure, it’s also simple to adjust and change if necessary.
As a new archer, you should learn how to set a knocking point correctly right from the get-go. It’s always easier to learn how to do things right from the start vs. learning the wrong way and having to correct things later.
Brass nocks are small round pieces of brass that crimp onto your bow string. This brass string nock is placed on the string just above the arrow nock. Like we mentioned before, this helps keep your arrow in place and provides consistency. Simply take a pair of nock pliers and crimp the brass ring onto your bowstring and that will provide a good place to start.
When it comes to tying nocking points, serving string tends to offer the best results. There are a few different ways for you to attach your nocking points using knots, with each type of knot offering its own special advantages. Today we’ll take a look at how to tie an adjustable knocking point. This nock point type offers a lot of convenience as it lets you change the nocking height without having to retie a whole new nocking point.
The adjustable nock point tying option is easy to understand, simple to perform, and only requires 4 items. Remember to always stabilize your bow when working on it as this helps to support proper installation. It also helps to prevent potential injury.
How to tie a nocking point
2. Nocking Point
Now it’s time to find your nocking point using 1 of 2 options. First measure out 1 ½ to 2 feet of the serving thread for each nock point.
Option 1: Place your arrow on the string at 90° and use this position to mark your nock points. Tie a double overhand knot to mark your starting point up against the arrow nock.
Option 2: Clip a bow square/T-Square to your bow string. Slowly move the bow square until it reaches the arrow rest to find your correct nock point. Now tie one double overhand knot as a way to mark your starting place.
3. Nocking Point Continued
Tie another double overhand knot on the opposite side of the serving from your first knot. This completes one over & under knot set. Keep tying knots until there are a three sets of double overhand knots (six total) on the bow string. When using 2 nocking points, it doesn’t matter if you start with the top or bottom nocking point.
4. Complete Knocking Point
After 3 sets of over & under knots, finishing up with two more single overhand knots. This step ensures that you’ve properly secured you’re serving thread. Close any gaps between the threads by pushing the serving threads together. Snip away any access threads and then use your lighter to melt the ends and push them with your finger against the string to lock everything into place.
5. Tie Opposite Nocking Point
Tie the bottom nocking point by clipping your arrow, or just the nock, onto the string. Make sure to push the nock up against the nocking point. Now take your serving thread and tie 1 overhand knot just underneath the nock. Make sure to leave a very tiny gap to avoid nock pinch. Leaving this small amount of space means when you’re at full draw you don’t have to worry about lifting your arrow off its rest. Continue to tie the nocking point as stated in step 4.
6. Lock In Place
Now that your nock point has been established, it’s time to test whether it’s perfect or needs to be moved slightly. Once you find your perfect nock point placement, add a small drop of super glue to ensure it stays securely in place (this is optional).
Nock Point Too High Or Low
So what happens when the nock point is too high or too low? If your nock point isn’t in the right position, it will create bad arrow flight. This is due to the arrow making excessive contact with the rest. This in turn results in inaccuracy.
One way to find out if your nock point isn’t in its correct and proper position is to shoot 2 fletched arrows and 2 unfletched arrows at a target that’s a minimum of 10 yards away. Now compare where the arrows landed. If the unfletched arrows land higher than the fletched arrows then your nocking point is too low. If the unfletched arrows land lower than the fletched arrows, then your nocking point is too high.
Moving Your Nock Point
Sometimes it’s necessary for new archers to move their nock point when they’re in the process of tuning their bow. When an archer determines they need to move their nocking point, performing these micro-adjustments is a fairly simple process when using the string tying method to set nock points. Just carefully wiggle the nock points until they’re in their proper location. If using a brass nock, simply loosen, adjust, and crimp down the nock at the new location
If you find it difficult to move your nock point on the string, it’s often easier to adjust your rest. Adjusting your rest up or down creates the same effect as moving your string nocking point up or down. Raising the rest will lower you nocking point while lowering the rest will raise your nocking point.
Now you’re ready to set your nocking point and make adjustments for a better tune. Learning how to set your nock point yourself means you don’t have to rely on pre-set nock points or a bow shop. With a little fine-tuning and practice, you’re sure to find your perfect nock point placement in a short amount of time. Nock points may not be completely necessary but now that you understand what they provide and how to place them, you’ll be on your way to more consistent and accurate results.